Cristiano Ronaldo has long been hailed as one of the best and most popular football players in the world, but recent criticisms have been levelled at his relatively slim pickings in terms of form and low scoring levels.
Experts and commentators have observed the star’s sub-par performance on several different occasions, and it seems that Real Madrid might have noticed as well.
A good example of this is the fact that Ronaldo was subbed at Las Palmas recently. He left the field looking furious although it was clear that a less than stellar performance was behind his substitution in the 72nd minute.
It should be noted that Ronaldo is not playing badly, and as some insiders have commented, any other player performing as he is now would be considered to be doing well.
He’s just not playing as well as his fans, teammates and opponents are used to seeing, and seems not to be scoring as many goals anymore.
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has said that he is not worried about his captain’s performance. While Ronaldo may not be scoring goals as consistently as he used to, Zidane argues that he is still a very important player in the team. And his recent performances have not been bereft of highlights, notably when scoring 4 goals for Portugal against Andorra.
He also recently beat out Gareth Bale and Antoine Griezmann to win the Best European Player Award of 2016. With the 2016 Ballon d’Or still to be awarded, however, many in the football industry are wondering if this 3-time winner will be able to take the coveted award home this year.
There have been several theories put forward for the changes in Ronaldo’s performance, including wanting to spend more time at home with his 6-year-old son, Cristiano Ronaldo Jr. and struggling with the pressures and attention that fame brings.
Among the most popular ideas is that Ronaldo is simply getting older, and that his glory days as a scorer of incredible solo goals might be behind him. He has already announced his desire to play for Real Madrid for another 10 years, and then retire at age 41, making it clear he has a cut-off date in mind. Interestingly, he doesn’t seem to have any plans to go into football coaching or management after retirement; rather, he has several business ventures up and running and more are sure to follow.
Diverse Business Interests
Ronaldo has never been one to stay out of the limelight and he’s used his immense popularity to his advantage in every possible way. It’s almost certain that retirement will not see the player fade away. Instead, there is a good chance he will reinvent himself as an astute businessman or similar.
A Ronaldo clothing line and perfume line are already on the market, and other enterprises are active as well. Additionally, Ronaldo rakes in an estimated $56 million annually from endorsement deals with the likes of Nike, Emirates, Tag Heuer, Coca Cola and Castrol. The player has also recently purchased a hotel in Lisbon, which promises to be very profitable.
Given his long-term love of Poker, many people are also wondering whether Ronaldo’s own establishment will offer poker tables and other casino delights to its guests, or whether he may take up the game in a more serious way once he has retired from sport.
Whatever the future holds, Ronaldo’s years of incredible goalscoring and game-changing play have already ensured that he will go down in history as one of the world’s greatest ever players. As his playing style changes and he develops other interests and endeavours, it’s certain that his legions of fans will continue to support him and wish him every success.